Ballyvea FC New Community Hub Is Officially Opened

Ballyvea Football Club to kick-off new season with £360K community hub.

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Ballyvea Football Club to kick-off new season with £360K community hub.

Ballyvea Football Club in Kilkeel, County Down, will be kicking off the new football season with a state of the art modern community hub following a grant of £270,000 from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA) Rural Development Programme (RDP).

The official opening of the new community hub took place on Friday 23 July 2021, with Minister Poots visiting this week to see the facility and all it has to offer the local community.

Welcoming the development at Ballyvea FC are (l-r) Rural Development Minister Edwin Poots MLA; Trevor McConnell, Ballyvea FC chairman; David Cutchley, Ballyvea FC secretary; and Cllr Roisin Mulgrew, Chair of Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership.

Funding of £270,000 was awarded to Ballyvea Football Club from DAERA’s Basic Services Scheme, under the LEADER element of Priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020. The Basic Services Scheme from Priority 6, NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 provides grants of up to £500,000.

The hub will allow for the delivery of social and economic development activities aimed at addressing under-achievement and social isolation, and marginalisation amongst young people and the elderly. 

Welcoming the funding award and completion of the new building, Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots said: “I am delighted that Ballyvea Football Club were awarded £270,000 under the current Rural Development Programme to build a facility that will provide services and activities for the local rural community in Kilkeel.

Members of Ballyvea FC, along with representatives from DAERA and Newry Mourne and Down District Council and Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers connected to the club, and all members of the Local Action Group, for the time they have given up to make great projects like this come alive, and I wish Ballyvea every success both on and off the field.”

Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said: “As Chair of the Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership, I am delighted to see the completion of this impressive facility which has availed of Rural Development funding, provided by DAERA and the European Union. The volunteers involved in the Local Action Group continue to work tirelessly to ensure local decisions made by local representatives, bring high quality projects such as this to fruition.”

Trevor McConnell, Chairman of Ballyvea FC said: “The financial support provided by DAERA, the European Union and the local council through the assistance of the Local Action Group has been instrumental in providing a high quality community hub that will provide a range of services to the local community.

“This scheme is all about improving the welfare and access to basic services for those living in rural areas.

“We are delighted to have worked closely with Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership to develop the project to provide such a vital facility for all rural dwellers and extend our gratitude to all they have done to assist us through the process.”

Councillor Cathy Mason, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council also commented on the project and said: “This is a fantastic example of how working in partnership can deliver a facility which is a real asset for the local area and will continue to be for many years to come. I would like to commend the Local Action Group and wish Ballyvea FC all the very best in their future endeavours.”